Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced the signing of a contract worth around £3.7 billion to start building the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates.
Manufacture of the first three of these highly capable warships will secure approximately 1,700 skilled shipbuilding jobs in Scotland and 1,700 jobs throughout the supply chain across Britain until 2035.
Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon said: “The Type 26 frigate is a cutting-edge warship, combining the expertise of the British shipbuilding industry with the excellence of the Royal Navy. We will cut steel on the first ship later this month – a hugely significant milestone that delivers on our commitment to maintain our global naval power. These ships will be a force to be reckoned with; there to protect our new carriers and help keep British interests safe across the world.
“The contract is structured to ensure value for taxpayers’ money and, importantly, now designed to protect them from extra bills from project overrun. The investment will secure hundreds of skilled jobs at BAE Systems on the Clyde for the next twenty years, and thousands of jobs in the supply chain across Britain.”
The new warships will protect the nation’s nuclear deterrent and new aircraft carriers; the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, launched last week.
The frigates will specialise in anti-submarine warfare. The flexible design will allow their capabilities to be adapted throughout the ship's lifespan to counter future threats.
Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, added: “A strong Royal Navy is essential for our national security and economic prosperity. Today there are over 500 submarines in the world operated by 40 navies. As one of the quietest and most potent submarine-hunters of any Navy, the Type 26 will have a crucial role to play to protect the nuclear deterrent and our two new aircraft carriers.”
The Type 26 is claimed to be the most advanced anti-submarine warfare ship in its class around the world. The MOD is exploring potential export opportunities where there is strong interest from international customers.